Abramovich sells stake in Highland Gold to Russian businessman

Meanwhile, Greenland-focused AEX began trading shares in London on Friday.

By Reuters - July 31, 2020
Chelsea owner and former Chukotka Governor Roman Abramovich is see after a 2015 match between Chelsea and Sunderland. (Dylan Martinez / Action Images via Reuters)

MOSCOW — Russian businessman Roman Abramovich and his partners are selling a 40.06 percent stake in Russian mid-sized gold producer Highland Gold to a Russian businessman, who will make a cash offer to remaining shareholders, they said on Friday.

Highland Gold is one of the top 10 gold producers in Russia with several projects in the Chukotka region in Russia’s Far East, across the Bering Strait from Alaska.

Abramovich, Chelsea soccer club owner and former governor of Chukotka, is selling Highland Gold, in which he was a shareholder for many years, at a time when gold price is close its record high as the COVID-19 pandemic drives investors towards the metal as a safe haven.

Fortiana Holdings Limited, a Cyprus-registered company of Vladislav Sviblov with interests in zinc and gold projects in Siberia, agreed to buy 145,759,871 shares in Highland Gold from Abramovich and his partners at 3.00 pounds ($3.94) per share.

The offer will value the entire company at $1.4 billion, with a 4 percent premium to the market close on Thursday.

“This is a strategic investment for us, in line with our aim to build a broader asset portfolio in the natural resources sector in Russia,” Sviblov said in the statement.

The price of the offer to remaining shareholders is expected to be not less than in this deal. The offer is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile AEX Gold, which plans to restart Greenland’s Nalunaq Mine and has several other Greenland projects, began trading on a London stock exchange Friday.

Earlier this summer, the company said it hoped to raise 45 million pounds in an initial public offering. It eventually raised 42 million pounds, making it London’s largest IPO since February.

Reporting by Polina Devitt.